Gesneriads forum: Anyone here an Episcia expert?

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Name: Roxanne Moskal
Near Pittsburgh, PA (Zone 6a)
Tropicals
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roxxanne
Oct 27, 2014 9:35 AM CST
I have 2 that I have replaced 3 times. I got them at a local greenhouse. They told me they were begonias so I treated them as such. They were dead within a few days. They replaced them for me and the same thing happened. I found them online and went back to the greenhouse with my information. I enlightened the worker, and bought 2 more. They've been alive now for a few weeks so I think I got it but the one with pink and green leaves isn't looking all that great. Can someone give me any advice before it's too late. If I repot, should I just use peat and vermiculite? I have them in a south facing window, is that ok? Can I start the runners in case the mother plant doesn't make it? Thanks for any help.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Oct 27, 2014 10:07 AM CST
I'm no expert, but I'll share my experience. They root from cuttings fairly readily, so you might go ahead and take a piece off a runner and try. All Episcias aren't created equal. Some with the bright colored foliage (e.g. pink leaves) can be difficult plants to manage and keep alive. But it's variable from one to another. I grew this green one outside all summer of 2013.
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The pink leaved Episcia and the silver veined leaf Episcia could not manage outdoors. The slightest damage from an insect or getting torn sent them into collapse mode. They do fine inside.
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My Episcias are not tolerant of a wide range of temperature and they prefer humidity. Temps under 50 killed the green one, but they also clearly suffer when the temp gets too warm. I'd say they prefer 70-85F with considerable humidity and they prefer to be kept evenly moist. These last are hard inside, but they look good most of the time if I don't forget them for too long. There are some Episcias with beautiful foliage that I think can only be grown in terrarium conditions. Good luck.

Thumb of 2014-10-27/needrain/d5b62a
Donald
[Last edited by needrain - Oct 27, 2014 12:55 PM (+)]
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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Oct 27, 2014 10:12 AM CST
One more thing, FWIW. My Episcias have been easier to grow than begonias! Those things have always rebelled at my care taking abilities!
Donald
(Zone 6a)
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Celene
Oct 27, 2014 10:38 AM CST
I don't think I qualify as an expert, but here are my thoughts:

I don't find that episcias do well outside, unless you have a moderately warm (not too too hot) and very humid climate. If they're outside, they'd need even moisture, no soggy soil, and brightish light with no sun at all. Especially the pink variegated ones need a terrarium, some of the other ones do as well. You may see the plant drop leaves if they go from the heat and humidity of a greenhouse to your home. You may also want to look for spider mites.
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Oct 27, 2014 12:26 PM CST
Hi Roxxanne I'm also no expert - I have a couple that I've kept alive for several years though, sometimes barely alive haha! I have mine inside a pot with no drain hole, and I have pebbles on the bottom and keep that filled with water - in this way it gets moisture into the air as well as from the roots. I still water the plant once per week so the soil gets moisture. I've noticed that they can take quite a bit of light - but not usually direct sunlight. I hope all of our replies help! Thumbs up Thumbs up
Cheers I tip my hat to you.
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Roxanne Moskal
Near Pittsburgh, PA (Zone 6a)
Tropicals
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roxxanne
Oct 27, 2014 1:15 PM CST
Thanks for all the help. The ones that died almost immediately were on my covered back porch and the night time temps were in the 60's. These last ones are on my kitchen window sill. I am going to try to start a couple of the runners. the green one with hot pink flowers is doing ok so I think I'll leave that one alone for now. It's the one with the pink leaves that is concerning me. From my very limited time with them I'd have to say they are not an easy plant by any means! But I'm not giving up, I love a plant challenge!!
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Oct 27, 2014 1:26 PM CST
Roxxanne, I just re-read my post...what I meant to say is that I have them potted in a pot with soil and drainage hole, and that pot I place into a larger one without drainage hole that I keep with water - they like the extra humidity, and this way I don't have to water 2 or 3 times per week.
Also a friend told me that they don't like too much air flow, so indoors is better for them in this way also!
Sounds like you have yours in the right spot now!! Thumbs up
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
(Zone 6a)
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Celene
Nov 2, 2014 7:08 PM CST
Pink Smoke in one of my terrariums.


Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
Image
needrain
Nov 2, 2014 7:16 PM CST
That looks really nice, Celene.
Donald
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
Image
gg5
Nov 2, 2014 8:12 PM CST
Celine very nice!! Interesting colors on the leaves! Thumbs up
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling

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